Monday, September 15, 2003

Readers' Views

Balloon release endangers animals


It has come to my attention that a well meaning, yet potentially dangerous celebration took place to honor the victims and families affected by the events of Sept. 11.

A school in the Cincinnati Public School District organized a mass balloon release with what appears to be one balloon released for each of the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives on that tragic day. I whole-heartedly agree with the idea of remembering the victims and families. I also think it is very important to involve children in this remembrance, as they often feel left out and have trouble dealing with the feelings they may be experiencing.

However, mass balloon releases could be very damaging to wildlife. As these balloons will eventually pop or deflate, they often become a meal for a hungry animal. These balloons can become lodged in the animal's throat causing choking, or in the intestines of the animal, eventually causing the animal to starve. Even "biodegradable" balloons will not disappear quickly enough to ensure the safety of the animals. Please continue involving children in these important ceremonies. Next time, however, please search for an environmentally safe way to do so.

Tony Lawson, Western Hills


Owners must train dogs well

There is no excuse for anyone to have a dog that he or she cannot control. When you bring a puppy home you love it and play with it, but at the same time you are always training it. If you do not have the skills to train your dog, take it to a dog trainer. If nothing works, get rid of the dog.

The owner of any dog must train the dog. Once dominance has been established the dog's owner will have a faithful, loving companion for the life of the dog. If you are training a dog to be aggressive, you are creating a serious danger to society.

Barbara Thoman, Columbia Township


Other nations should help fight terrorism

Why don't the French remember that the Eiffel Tower was a target of the terrorists two years ago, and that United States' Intelligence helped them prevent that attack? What would their responses be now if the U.S. had not helped them two years ago? Maybe they would rather rebuild the Eiffel Tower instead of Iraq.

Their current responses are shortsighted and don't reflect their own vulnerability. All of the countries opposing the Iraq War and reconstruction, for whatever reasons, are still wearing blinders.

No country is safe from terrorism. How many terrorist attack wake-up calls will it take?

Judy Volkerding, Colerain Township


Oil companies raised prices on Sept. 11

Does anyone care how the big oil companies marked Sept. 11? They did so by raising gas prices by almost 30 cents a gallon just because the weekend was approaching. The oil we use and the terrorists that attack us come from the Middle East. Does anyone else see the irony in that? Maybe if all Americans didn't buy gas on Sept. 11 each year, it would send a message to the oil companies to respect the day and what it stands for.

John Lonaker, Independence, Ky.


Officials should investigate gouging

I am not a fan of big government, per se, but I do think it is time for someone or some committee to take a good look at the price gouging that is going on at the gas pumps. The gas industry says that prices are higher in the summer because people are driving more. They use the same excuse for their increases around every holiday. I would like to know what their excuse is for the current increase in prices.

I wondered if it didn't have to do with paychecks. The prices typically rise on Thursday or Friday. Again, the gas industry claims that people drive more on the weekends. I wonder if they raise their prices near the weekend because they know most people get paid on Thursday or Friday and figure we won't complain much about price increase. I think it is time for some complaining.

Joe Seiler, Colerain Township


Some seniors need prescription drug help

Congress is talking and taking forever on how to pass a Prescription Drug Act for senior citizens. Some of us don't need help, but to define the needy is very simple. The senior citizens who pay income tax don't need prescription drug help, but those who have only a Social Security check as income would be eligible. This is easily determined if you are on Medicare and get a Social Security check.

Records from the Internal Revenue Service could easily determine those who would be eligible. It would not be necessary to create another bureaucracy like a health maintenance organization to siphon off any of the money.

Carl F. Steinhilber, Dillonvale


Bible is true as it always has been

In reference to the letter ("Bible's meaning must change with times," Sept. 12) about Stephen Van Kuiken's view on the Bible, I say this:

Saying the Bible must change with the times is exactly what is wrong with most churches today. We don't still sacrifice goats on the altar as they did in Old Testament times because Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice. But, the truth remains that God has not changed.

If a member of your church leaves because the church cannot refrain from trying to change with the times, oh well! Right is still right; and wrong is still wrong. They have not changed either.

Linda Meier, Crescent Springs


Dyeing chicks was really a death sentence

I am writing regarding the article by Maggie Downs ("Chickens hip and fun, but don't run afoul of the law," Sept. 5).

She seems to have found humor in the prohibition of dyeing chickens. She refers to the law as being "bizarre."

It was not many years ago in Cincinnati that some merchants discovered they could increase the sale of baby chicks at Easter time by dyeing them in different colors.

The only problem was that the dye treatment was a death sentence for the chick. Once they were treated with the chemicals, their survival rate was zero. Back then there was no PETA, at least locally, to stop this barbaric practice. However, there was a groundswell by the citizens of Cincinnati to the City Council to outlaw the brutalizing and slaughter of baby chicks. The council responded to the outrage of the citizenry by passing a law prohibiting the practice. This is the law that Downs found to be bizarre.

Bob Wall, White Oak


Barry Larkin deal was a huge waste of money

Should the Reds plan a Barry Larkin Day? Every day of the last three years has been Barry Larkin's day - a $9 million part-time, utility, veteran player - the Reds can spin it anyway that they want, but all he has been is a waste of money. Small-market teams cannot afford to pay for services already rendered, and we let Barry hold the team hostage, for what equates to two decent pitchers.

Rich Schlaack, Hyde Park


Bush never predicted cost of war in Iraq

Apparently the Democratic presidential candidates get their news from sources that are different from mine. I have a strong recollection of statements by the Bush administration giving no estimates as to the length or costs of the imminent actions we took in Iraq. I recall statements that clearly indicated that such fortune telling would be fruitless and that the subsequent rebuilding of Iraq into a democracy would be the hardest, longest, and possibly the most expensive part of this action. This view was reiterated when the major military operations subsided. If such statements were construed by some as a prediction or a plan, this certainly is not the fault of the messenger, but of the listener's imagination.

John R. Myers, Springdale


While you're shopping, look for union label

Every article I read in the Sept. 7 Forum section about jobs going overseas either blamed the government, the corporations or the unions. I suggest the next time you go shopping, instead of just checking out the price tag, look for a tag that says made in the United States of America. They are hard to find these days. While you're at it, look for the union label to be assured that the people who produce the product were paid a decent wage for the work they performed.

Wake up, America, it's you who make a difference. The next time you go shopping, look for the union label: Made in USA.

Doug Evans, Delhi Township

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